Admissions FAQ:

The most important requirement for enrollment in the MSWE program is experience with programming. Students must have proficiency in at least two general-purpose programming languages.* This is typically achieved through undergraduate programming courses, self-learning via online tutorials, on-the-job learning, programming-intensive hobbies, or developer boot camps, etc.

*Admitted students in the first year of the program should make every effort to take community college classes in the summer, or follow online tutorials, to fill gaps in their knowledge of programming in Python and Java. 

No and no. The MSWE program assumes that you know how to program, and that you are familiar with programming concepts such as functions, variables, loops, conditionals, arrays, lists, etc., in at least two programming languages. The MSWE program will improve your programming skills by several levels, but it does not teach introductory programming.

Applications for fall 2020 are now available!  Please find more information on how to apply to UCI here.  

ALL applicants are encouraged to submit applications and all supplementary materials (i.e. official test scores, letters of recommendation) by December 15, 2019.

Domestic students may continue to submit applications through March 15, 2020

No, students are admitted once a year – for the following FALL quarter.

Yes, the GRE General Test is required. GRE scores are valid for five years, after which time the exam must be repeated.

Please review our admissions requirements on this page for more information

No.  If you are interested in pursuing research or a doctoral degree, the Master of Science in Software Engineering (MSSE) may be a more appropriate program for you. 

Click here to learn about eligibility criteria to waive from the test of English proficiency. 

Three professional letters of recommendation are required, but you may submit as many letters as you wish.

No, we review applications holistically. 

Program FAQ:

This is a five quarter academic program (fall, winter, spring, summer, fall).  The summer quarter is a mandatory internship.  The MSWE program is 15 months, from September of year one to December of year two.

Yes, domestic students are eligible for part-time study. The normative time to degree, in this case, is two years and one quarter, or 27 months, from September of year one to December of year three.  Compare the part- and full-time curriculums here.  

No, students in professional programs are not eligible for reader, TA, or research positions.

International students are eligible to work at an on-campus job up to 20 hours per week. You must seek approval from the International Center prior to working. Please see here for details. Domestic students are eligible to work both on-campus and off-campus.  

Not necessarily. Although we expect most internships to offer compensation, it is entirely at the discretion of the employers in which students secure their internships. 

The program is intended to improve students’ skills to help them become more confident during technical interviews.  If a student is still unable to secure an internship after diligent effort, the student should consult with the Faculty Director to arrange an assignment with a faculty member or department on campus to develop a concrete software project that provides hands-on experience for the student, and a useful product or service to the faculty or department.

It is still required that you do a summer internship during the second summer of the program.  Review the part-time curriculum here

Yes, we offer a limited number of fellowship to students each year.  There is no separate application. We will award fellowships based on your online application.  To avoid delays, we recommend that all eligible domestic students submit a FAFSA

Yes, students will automatically be enrolled in health insurance.  Please note that health insurance is not included in the program fees.  Please find more information on fees here.  If you have equivalent coverage, you may submit a waiver.  Please note the strict deadlines for submitting waivers.

No, this is an on-campus program.

To accommodate working professionals, all courses will be offered in the late afternoons and evenings.

No, students can only take the designated courses offered through the program. These include any graduate courses with the moniker SWE and letter P after the course number.  The set curriculum can be found here.  

No, it does not. MSWE is a terminal degree. If you are interested in pursuing research and/or a PhD in Software Engineering, you should consider the MS Software Engineering (MSSE) program

Career Development FAQ

Yes! Here are ICS/UCI events for 2019 – 2020* we encourage you attend to increase your chances of getting interviews and securing a summer internship and/or full-time position for after graduation:

UCI Fall Career Fair

September 25, 2019

ICS Industry Showcase + Career Fair

October 16, 2019

UCI STEM Career Fair

October 17, 2019

UCI Internship & Career Fair

January 23, 2019

EngiTECH Career Fair

February, 2019

UCI Spring Career Fair

May, 2019

* Schedules subject to change and additional events may become available. Please refer to CODE and Handshake for most up to date information throughout the year.

Large tech companies will participate in upcoming career fairs, but not all of them, due to the high volume of student interest they receive and because of their recruitment timelines.  In addition to career fairs, large tech companies may be on campus for other events, so always be on the lookout!

To register for upcoming UCI Career Fairs and to see employers who will be in attendance, please log into Handshake

Employer events hosted by the School of ICS or by ICS Professional Programs will be in ICS CODE.    

Most large tech companies will begin recruiting in Fall, some as early as July, but mostly late August/September.  Smaller to mid-size companies will usually start in Winter beginning as early as December/January. 

Once you have identified your target companies, we recommend you visit their career/university pages to find the internship postings, most of them have deadlines that you should not miss.  If you do not see a posting, set up email notifications through their website so you are alerted right away and can apply as soon as the position is posted.   

Regardless of when you apply, the most important thing is to make sure you meet the application deadline, if any.  We recommend you submit your application at least one week prior to the deadline listed.

If you see an internship postings on a company’s website, and you are confident with your application materials, we recommend you apply as soon as possible.  Please also pay careful attention on the postings to see whether there is a deadline to apply, and plan to apply at least one week prior to that deadline. 

For larger companies, anyone you talk to will likely direct you to apply on the company website, including the recruiter.  It will not be harmful to do both.  However, another way is to reach out to your current contacts at the company, if you have any, to see if they are able to make a referral before you submit your online application.  This way, some job sites may allow you to include the employee’s name as your referral.  Even better, your contact may send your information to their seniors or managers, which will help you in the entire process and increase your chances for being invited for interviews. 

Industry research shows that on average, the entire recruitment process from sourcing a candidate to hiring a candidate takes 26 business days.  While this timeline is mostly accurate, this timeline does vary with different companies, regardless of their size. 

Some students received call backs within one week of application submission, some received call backs one or even two months later.  The key is your follow-up; sometimes that makes a significant difference in how fast the process will move forward, if it moves forward at all!

For internship positions, you will quickly learn that HR/recruiters play the role of a gatekeeper, ensure equal opportunities, and manage a fair and consistent recruiting process for all applicants.  As such, due to the high volume of applicants they receive, an HR/recruiter will most likely redirect you to apply via the company’s website.

For full-time positions, however, a company’s recruiting process can be a bit different wherein an HR/recruiter may be more responsive because they may actually be seeking you out to consider their company for employment.  Again, this varies depending on the company and how they leverage their recruiters. 

In all, while it is good to know recruiters, we encourage you focus your networking effort in connecting with actual working professionals (including UCI alumni) who are working or have worked at your target companies.  Usually, these contacts can offer additional advice for you and some may have insights as to hiring needs within their teams. 

First and foremost, let’s stay positive from the get-go and approach your search with the intended result of securing an internship.  This mental shift will help you tremendously throughout your search! 


That said, while securing a summer internship should be a priority for all students, students who do not secure internships will have an opportunity to work with faculty or a department on campus to develop a concrete software project that provides hands-on experience for the student, and a useful product or service to the faculty or department.

As a student in an ICS Professional Master’s Program, you have access to a dedicated Career Development team that will provide you career development and job search support during your program.  Throughout the year, the Career Development team will deliver career workshops that have been strategically timed according to the internship and job search timelines for most students.  Please sign into CODE to see upcoming workshops and events.

You also have the option to attend events and workshops through UCI Division of Career Pathways (DCP)

The Career Development team will hold office hours beginning Fall Week 1.  In order to support as many students as we can prior to the ICS Showcase Career Fair and the STEM Career Fair, there will be additional office hours for individual appointments during Weeks 1 through 3. 

Please note that appointments during Weeks 1 to 3 will be limited to Resume and Cover Letter review for incoming students.  Again, this is to ensure all students have a chance to have their materials reviewed prior to those two events.  Other appointments such as LinkedIn review, mock interviews, will be available to all students beginning Fall Week 4.

You can make an appointment with an advisor on the Career Development team in CODE up to two weeks in advance.

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